March 2013

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Events

From Rdio Engineering: Rdio Hack Day #5

Rdio engineering recently held its fifth quarterly Hack Day. Our software team got to take some time to work on whatever product and feature they wanted to, or create some standalone web apps using the Rdio API. We’re really excited to share a few of these great accomplishments. Think you’ve got a great idea for next Hack Day and the engineering chops to build it? Rdio is hiring!

Ian Gilman, Devin Sevilla, and Kevin Nelson took some initial steps towards creating a web-based Rdio listening room that allowed users to chat and add songs to a collective queue while they all listened to the same music. Although it isn’t ready for the spotlight yet, you can check out their source code here.

Ian Gilman and Geoff Koops - Text

Ian Gilman also partnered with Geoff Koops from the Rdio design team to collaborate on two hacks focusing on the visual presentation of album art. The first lets you search for a keyword and displays art from albums matching that keyword, masked in the text you searched. The second sorts album art by color, creating a rainbow spectrum of music.

Ian Gilman and Geoff Koops - Rainbow

Matt Erkkila created an analytics tool that shows you acts similar to an artist based on what other Rdio listeners who had listened to that artist played in the last month.

Ian Vonseggern created a geo mapping visualization which displays the popularity of a specific track over time via a heat map of the world. This shows how a new song gained popularity in one region and slowly spread to other countries.

Dana Powers from Rdio’s legal team contributed a guest hack. He created some new internal reporting tools that allow us to generate many different kinds of graphs showing a breakdown of play reporting by categories such as label partners.

Rob Ferguson

Rob Ferguson opened up part of our integration with The Echo Nest which drives much of Rdio’s radio station features. Using Rob’s hack allows you to input a session ID generated from The Echo Nest with a specific genre query (such as “high BPM heavy metal”) and create a station based on that genre with Rdio.

Brian Ferrell also tapped into The Echo Nest to create a playlist creation wizard. By first adding a handful of tracks to a playlist, you can auto complete the mix with similar artists and songs with the click of a button.

Ron Buell spent some time diagramming and documenting one of Rdio’s core backend systems, which we dub Everyburger. Everyburger is Rdio’s proprietary Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse system. It tracks events like playing a song, updating a playlist, and other activity on Rdio and parses them in Erlang. In combination with VDB, MySQL and Redis, these events are scrobbled and used to show your history page and recent activity feed in the Rdio app, among other things.

Rebecca Stecker investigated modifying the Rdio HTML presentation layer to add accessibility features to Rdio so that it could be more friendly to screen reading software.

Jimmy O'Neill

Jimmy O’Neill added some Rdio shortcuts and integration into the Alfred desktop app for OSX. Alfred provides similar functionality to spotlight with some added features. Jimmy’s hack allows you to skip, add to Collection, and a number of other operations with a few quick keystrokes.

Matt Carroll added a feature that allows you to eliminate new release notifications from specific artists that are in your collection.

Adam Lickel improved our mobile apps so that they include artist bio pages and related artist pages. Try this graduated hack for yourself — download the iOS update here.

Patrick Tuckey worked on adding a volume control to our much loved remote control feature which allows you to control Rdio playback on your web or desktop app from a mobile device and vice versa.

Raul Agrait

Raul Agrait added an improved sharing feature into the Rdio iOS app that lets you directly share a playlist, artist, or track directly with your Rdio followers. This hack should be coming soon to the iOS and Android apps so keep an eye out!

∞  March 29, 2013 — 11:00AM

MusicNew Music Weekly

New Music Tuesday - March 26, 2013

Depeche ModeDiploThompson Square

Welcome to an exciting week of new music featuring fresh voices and sounds such as the long-awaited debut studio albums from New York rapper Papoose and Dublin five-piece country-rock band Little Green Cars, the third album by Tennessee Americana heroes The Black Lillies, and the sophomore effort by Northern California pop punk crew The Story So Far.

Please allow our New Music Tuesday playlist to reacquaint you with some old favorite artists and discover some new ones. Read the Playlist Notes below for some more information as you listen, and then hop on over to the Rdio New Releases page to browse the complete collection.


PLAYLIST NOTES

  • Wavves - Afraid of Heights
    Fresh off the band’s collaboration with OutKast rapper Big Boi, the San Diego surf-inflected indie rockers spring forth with this fourth album.

  • The Strokes - Comedown Machine
    Julian Casablancas and crew sound even more adventurous (and sexy!) on their fifth album of American rock.

  • Depeche Mode - Delta Machine
    The seminal British electronic band drops a lucky 13th album and the first in four years.

  • Thompson Square - Just Feels Good
    The country music duo (and real life couple) of Kiefer and Shawna Thompson succeed the hit single “If I Didn’t Have You” with the followup to their self-titled 2011 debut.

  • Diplo - Express Yourself Remix EP
    Producers such as DJ Mustard, CRNKN, Sleepy Tom, Expendable Youth & Krusha season Diplo’s already party-worthy original songs with doses of ratchet, trap, jungle, and other hyped up sounds.

Exclusives

Lighten Up With Raine Maida’s New Album One Week Early

Raine Maida

Canadian singer-songwriter Raine Maida is best known for being the lead singer in the successful post-grunge band Our Lady Peace, but continues to gain new fans with his solo work, which he simultaneously embarked upon in 2006. Buoyed by the lead single “Montreal,” Maida’s long-anticipated sophomore album We All Get Lighter doesn’t officially come out until next week, but you can sneak a peek into the future with this exclusive early preview of the album.

∞  March 20, 2013 — 11:00AM

MusicNew Music Weekly

New Music Tuesday - March 19, 2013

LowJustin TimberlakeWoodkid

A batch of new songs and albums have bloomed just in time for spring. This week’s releases bring the latest from San Francisco rockers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Estonian pop princess Kerli, New York singer Alice Smith, and Britpop masters The London Suede.

Our New Music Tuesday playlist will whisk you away on an audio tour of the finest tunes of the week. Read the Playlist Notes below as you listen for more key highlights. And if you’re ready for even more, the next step is to go ahead and jump right into the big Rdio New Releases collection.


PLAYLIST NOTES

  • Low - The Invisible Way
    The mighty Midwesterners drop an impressive 10th album, this one produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy.

  • Woodkid - The Golden Age
    Yoann Lemoine, who has directed videos for Katy Perry (“Teenage Dream”) and Lana Del Rey (“Born to Die”), puts his musician hat on for this debut album.

  • Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience
    In his first full-length release since 2006, Timberlake once again brings sexy back — but this time with the benefit of mature hindsight.

  • Hadouken! - Every Weekend
    The London-based band, named after the “surge fist” move from the Street Fighter video game, launch a sonic wave attack on eager ears with a long-awaited third album.

  • Jake Bugg - “Lightning Bolt”
    The British singer-songwriter channels Bob Dylan on his latest single.

  • Little Boots - “Broken Record”
    Also from the UK, electropop ingenue Victoria Hesketh serves up a teaser from her next album Nocturnes, due out in May.

Music

Bon Jovi Picks Favorites From Live Set For An Rdio-Only Playlist

Bon Jovi

The mighty Bon Jovi has just released What About Now, the twelfth album (and first in four years) that’s not a question but a statement of rock dominance. And in honor of the occasion, the group put together this exclusive playlist for Rdio listeners.

The legendary band, who are currently hard at work on a massive arena tour, based the mix off of the setlist from their February 23rd Pennsylvania pit stop. Find classics like “Livin On A Prayer” and “It’s My Life” alongside brand new tracks from What About Now such as “Water Made Me” and “Army Of One.”

Hit play for your own private Bon Jovi show — what about now?

∞  March 13, 2013 — 10:00AM

MusicNew Music Weekly

New Music Tuesday - March 12, 2013

She & HimDavid BowieBon Jovi

If naming your most preferred style of music is as difficult as, say, naming your most loved child, then we won’t make you play favorites in this week’s new music releases.

Feel free to equally embrace the eighth album from the incomparable Devendra Banhart, the anticipated debut from Chicago indie rock siblings Wild Belle, a killer Golden State collab between rising rappers Problem & IamSu, and the new EP by UK electronic legend Squarepusher. That’s just for starters. Spin the New Music Tuesday playlist to hear the latest from these and many more artists. The Playlist Notes below add a few more details. And the Rdio New Releases section contains the full granddaddy of this week’s new tunes.


PLAYLIST NOTES

Bon Jovi - What About Now
The more things change, the more they stay the same: New Jersey’s finest is back with a rockin’ twelfth album and a big arena tour.

David Bowie - The Next Day (Deluxe Version)
One of music’s biggest icons returns with his 24th album — his first in a decade and its already hit number one in eleven countries.

Atoms For Peace - Amok
The supergroup anchored by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Flea hands in an epic debut.

She & Him - “Never Wanted Your Love”
Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward return with the first taste from their forthcoming album Volume 3.

The Summer Set - “Boomerang”
The pop-punk act repping Scottsdale come back around with a second single to preview next month’s Legendary album.

∞  March 12, 2013 — 10:00AM

New FeaturesNews

New Design Features in the Latest iOS Update

Rdio for iOS

Last month we rolled out a refreshed design to our iOS app and promised more enhancements were coming soon. Today we’re sharing with you the newest update to Rdio for iOS with the following features:

  • Social Listening — Just like in the web and desktop apps, now you’ll be able to see at a glance which friends have listened to which albums.
  • Full Screen — We’ve made music more visually dynamic by featuring the album art front and center across your entire screen.

Download Rdio for iOS and try out the new features for yourself. Be sure to follow @Rdio on Twitter and Like Rdio on Facebook to find out what’s next for our apps.

EventsMusic

Rdio Soundtracks Your Trek to SXSW 2013

SXSW2013

SXSW is hands-down one of our favorite places to discover the next breakthrough bands from all over the world. But no matter how much coffee we swill or how far we run across downtown Austin, it’s just not humanly possible to see all 2,000+ bands over the course of six days.

Don’t sweat it — Rdio’s got your back. We threw together the go-to SXSW playlist of all the performers we’re most looking forward to experiencing. The mix is chock full of bands that are already buzzing and hot party headliners — some of which you can get priority access to see by getting on The Rdio List.

Need a soundtrack for your pilgrimage to Austin? Or want to find who the Next Big Thing will be? Let our SXSW 2013 playlist lead the way.


∞  March 7, 2013 — 2:00PM

EventsGiveaways

Roll VIP at SXSW with The Rdio List

The Rdio List

South by Southwest (SXSW) is a 10-day conference dedicated to breakthrough media like innovative technology and emerging talent in film. But let’s be real here — we all know SXSW as a sonic wonderland. With almost 2,000 bands set to perform this year, we’re here to give you a leg up on this musical marathon.

If you plan to make a pilgrimage to Austin, then get VIP entry and enjoy some free tacos and drinks on us at the hottest music events at SXSW by jumping on The Rdio List — no badge or wristband required.

We teamed up with BrooklynVegan, Hype Machine, Stereogum, SPIN and VICE to give you priority access via a separate Rdio line into their SXSW parties from March 12-16. These exclusive shindigs feature performances by Snoop Lion, Japandroids, Youth Lagoon, and Kendrick Lamar.

HOW TO GET ON THE RDIO LIST

The Rdio List goes live on March 12 but we’re giving you the down low now. Use the web app on your mobile devices to:

1) Sign up — If you haven’t already, sign up for a free Rdio account and then head over to TheList.Rdio.com.

2) Reserve — Reservations are available one hour before a party’s start time on a first-come, first-served basis. You may reserve one pass per window of time. Once you’ve successfully reserved a pass, you’ll be given a unique pass phrase that you will show The Rdio List doorman upon arrival.

3) Check-in — Each pass will be valid 10 minutes before and 10 minutes after the reserved time so make sure you’re there during that window. Check in at the designated Rdio List entrance.

4) Check-out — Always remember to check-out! That way, you can score a new reservation to another party.

PERKS OF THE RDIO LIST

VIP lines, awesome music, and free tacos not convincing enough? What if those tacos come with a side of Action Bronson? The Rdio List also gives you a chance to win any of these VICE party perks, with more being announced on next week:

Have questions or just want to brag about your VIP status? Use the hashtag #RdioList and follow @Rdio on Twitter.

∞  March 6, 2013 — 9:00AM

Exclusives

Catch Earlimart In The Latest Rdio Live Set

Earlimart

Back in September, Rdio listeners won tickets to an intimate live show by Earlimart in their hometown of Los Angeles. Performing exclusively for our Rdio Live Series, the SoCal duo brought the rock in the form of their four-song set. The EP features tunes from the recent album System Preferences and the loved track “Heaven Adores You" from their 2004 LP.

While the L.A. indie rockers just returned from their U.K. tour but you can experience Earlimart live with our exclusive recording below.

∞  March 5, 2013 — 11:00AM